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Laloo downplays saffron surge, dares BJP to hold early LS polls

RJD chief said that BJP had won by 'hoodwinking' voters and side-stepping significant issues, and dared it to hold early Lok Sabha polls.

india Updated: Dec 04, 2003 17:19 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

RJD chief Laloo Prasad Yadav on Thursday downplayed the saffron surge that saw the BJP wrest power in three large states from the Congress -- blaming it for "hoodwinking" voters by side-stepping significant issues.

He also challenged the BJP-led Union government to call early Lok Sabha elections and repeat their assembly-level performance.

BJP took the help of Bollywood stars like Hema Malini to divert people's attention from burning issues like unemployment and lack of development, Yadav said in New Delhi.

He added that he would never call upon film stars to campaign for his party. "I am much better than them. In fact, they imitate me," he added.

He also called upon "secular" parties to unite to defeat the BJP. "Desh bachao, BJPhatao(Remove the BJP to save the country) should be the slogan," he said.

Yadav, whose party runs a coalition government with the Congress in Bihar,had himself campaigned for the Congress in Delhi -- where it won -- and Chhattisgarh -- where it lost narrowly.

He added that the party might have fared better had it "utilised him better" in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan as well.

First Published: Dec 04, 2003 17:19 IST